I'm rewriting a technical book that will list two authors: the original author and me. Much of the text has been changed and there are some informal parts where reader is addressed in first person: "I want to show you ...". I'm wondering if this should this read: "We want to show you ..."?

Personally, I think that "we" sounds weird (and distracting) because the book has been written on two separate occasions. For the most part I'm trying to eliminate these references, but there are a few times where it would be more trouble to do that.

2 Answers 2


I'd stick with "we" when you have two or more authors unless it's clear that sections of the book were written by one particular author, such as in a compilation of essays. But you should ask your publisher for the final decision to save yourself pain later if they disagree with your choice.

  • I agree that "we" is standard in these sorts of contexts, and it doesn't sound weird to me at all. Oct 5, 2011 at 16:06

I would check with the publishers. As a general rule though if you will be listed as co-author then the correct form is usually "we"(If you are contracted to re-write it but it will be published only under the original title and author, you would say "I".) The final decision is usually the publishers'.

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